Ireland’s Boyne Valley is the birthplace of Ireland’s Ancient East. Here you can experience a remarkable history stretching back over 9,000 years. You can walk in the footsteps of Ireland’s High Kings and visit the spiritual Hill of Tara, from where the kings ruled as long ago as the 2nd century.
This is home to some of Ireland’s greatest heritage sites – their sheer volume indicating the importance of the region – but there is plenty more to see and do, especially with your family. From walking and biking along the Royal Canal Greenway, to karting or kayaking on rivers and canals, to getting a flavour for the culinary arts, Boyne Valley has it all. There’s the ever-popular Funtasia Waterpark in Drogheda, the tasty Tayto Park and adventure centres. And then there are the places and the myths that tie into Boyne Valley’s remarkable history. It’s there to be explored.
This, after all, is a world from the past, of ancient cairns and castles, famous battle sites, and the mythical Brú na Boinne. There are abbeys and ruins, and much to explore on foot, by bike or car. There are greenways, beaches and boardwalks, forests and bogland, rivers and canals. You can enjoy the history of the magical Boyne Valley, or you can experience the natural beauty all around you… or why not do both. The historic town of Drogheda is the gateway to it all.
According to legend, Samhain, the ancient Celtic festival that we now call Halloween, originated in Co. Meath. To this day the Boyne Valley has remained the home of Halloween, and whether is ‘Fun by Day’ or ‘Fright by Night’, spine-tingling fun awaits for young and old alike in the Spirits of Meath festival (1 Oct – 6 Nov).
There is no question that the revered Newgrange passage tomb (3200 BC), at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne, is one of our most inspiring locations. Where else can you experience and touch this country’s ancient history and heritage! Rock art decorates inner walls that were erected more than 500 years before the pyramids.
Or why not combine the past with the present? Trim Castle dates back to 1172 and it is Ireland’s best preserved Anglo-Norman castle. It was also used for the filming of Mel Gibson’s multi-award winning film ‘Braveheart’.
For those with an active streak, the Royal Canal Greenway is the longest greenway in Ireland (130 km). It stretches through the Boyne Valley for 22 kilometres. Enjoy it on foot or on bike with many stopping points along the way. The Boyne Greenway runs for 1.9 km, from Drogheda along the Boyne Canal to Oldbridge House (site of the Battle of the Boyne, fought in 1690). There are long, lazy beaches here too, stretched along the eastern coast of the Boyne Valley. And let’s not forget the links of Laytown &. Bettystown, and Seapoint, as well as the world famous Co. Louth Golf Club. The inland courses also deserve a swing by, including the Jack Nicklaus-designed Killeen Castle, the highly impressive 36-hole venue of Headfort, and the Knightsbrook Hotel Spa & Golf Resort.
There is so much for you and your family to do when visiting the Boyne Valley, and with hotels, restaurants and cafes spread throughout the towns and villages you will always find somewhere to pause, drink it all in and relax.
Visit the www.discoverboynevalley.ie/where-the-adventure-begins website and start planning an adventure to look into the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East.
View the full Autumn 2022 Guide here: